Berlin places restrictions on Airbnb?

Berlin Wall

It was Oliver who first alerted me to the new rule Berlin has just applied to Airbnb.

 apply. When what exceptions are possible, is still unclear.

Some friends on Facebook (my fb is public, so its readable/findable) added some comments to my kind of retweet from talking with Oliver.

Jennifer wrote: There are so few affordable flats available for people who actually live here. The Airbnb market has affected the available rentals so much here that it’s driven prices up, and it’s a nightmare.

Helen wrote: There are similar restrictions in Barcelona. You need a licence to rent rooms or apartments but the local government is not issuing new licences. Same rationale…lack of affordable housing, makes for unpleasant living when your neighbouring apartments are all on short lets, changing the culture of neighbourhoods. That said, there’s no shortage of rentals in Barcelona on AirBnB and elsewhere. Fines are being issued but not widespread yet.

As someone who does Airbnb at my own flat, I think there should be a difference between a spare room and a whole place. I do have everything legally needed including smoke alarms, exit signs and fire extinguisher but it feels like there should be slight difference. I understand the concerns and the damage of short term lets on a community. Some apartment blocks have banned Airbnb in Manchester for example. But if you are there too, its no real different than having a short term lodger? I guess there is an argument about how you prove you are there, but thats a different arguement.

Its a shame its come to this but alas thats what happens when you let market forces run out of control?

Little chance of a cheap Airbnb for Berlin now, I thought but theres still quite a lot on Airbnb still… We shall see what happens in May.

Google Boots Transdroid Torrent Manager from Android Market

The feature in question

I am very disappointed with Google… After reading this on Torrent Freak

For many Android users Transdroid is the perfect remote access app for managing their BitTorrent clients on the go. The app allows users to start and stop torrents, search torrent files and even use the barcode scanner to find matching torrent files.

Transdroid offered both a free and a paid version of the app, and judging from the 400,000 downloads people seemed to appreciate it. However, as of this week, Google decided that Transdroid is no longer eligible to be placed in the Android Market.

“I have just received an e-mail from Google that Transdroid, both the free and donate version, have been pulled form the Android Market. This is due to apparent violations in the content policies of publishing in the Android Market,” Transdroid’s developer announced.

The developer of the application has wrote up his exchanges with Google and looks to be building a lite version which doesn’t including ezRSS feeds and Torrent Search.

I guess the good thing about Android is, even if they block it from all the stores, you can still download it and install it yourself.

Thank you Google for the Android Market Web Store

In my frustrated posts over Okcupid and Match.com, I skipped over the whole Android Honeycomb announcement.

The main thing which strikes me as smart is the Android Market web store.

At long last Google recognises the app store model is broken and they are shattering the model by opening a web store. You can now browse the store using a browser of your choice and when you choice to buy an app, its sent to your phone or tablet. Just the way it should work. Heck you can even using links point to your favourite apps, comments, etc. Genius!

This means finally developers can link to there app and join it up with there own support forums, etc. This thankfully has to be the end of the app store model. And I for one, am thanking Google for killing the model dead!